Tuesday, December 1, 2015
* Guatemala: Gang violence was blamed for the deaths of at least sixteen inmates at a Guatemalan prison that is at approximately 500% overcapacity.
* Brazil: Brazil’s recession worsened in the third trimester of 2015 and posted a 1.7% quarterly drop along with a worrying 4.5% annual decline.
* El Salvador: San Salvador Archbishop Bishop Jesus Delgado apologized to victims of sexual abuse by clergy amid a crackdown by the archdiocese against suspected pedophiles.
* Venezuela: Authorities arrested three suspects in the murder of Venezuelan opposition politician Luis Diaz during a recent campaign event to rally support prior to Sunday’s legislative elections.
YouTube Source – Associated Press
Online Sources – iTV News, Reuters, UPI, Yahoo News
Monday, November 30, 2015
* Nicaragua: Construction on a controversial $50 billion interoceanic canal in Nicaragua that was supposed to begin this December will be postponed for up to a year.
* Argentina: “Christians and Muslims are brothers and sisters,” declared Pope Francis at a mosque in the Central African Republic as he nears the end of a six-day trip to Africa.
* Peru: The son of former military leader Juan Velasco Alvarado cold join the daughter of imprisoned ex-President Alberto Fujimori in the race for Peru’s next president.
* Mexico: Mexico could be barred from participating in the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro due to the government probing possible corruption in national sports federations.
YouTube Source – France 24 English (Video uploaded on June 2015).
Online Sources – Yahoo News, Peru Reports, Voice of America, Newsweek
Sunday, November 29, 2015
* Cuba: Several hundred protesters demonstrated outside of the Ecuadoran embassy in Havana after the South American country imposed new visa restrictions on visitors from Cuba.
* Venezuela: The death of Venezuelan opposition politician Luis Diaz by unknown gunmen last Wednesday has added to an already tense political climate prior to next Sunday’s legislative elections.
* Haiti: Presidential candidate Jude Célestin could drop out of the December 27th runoff amid allegations of fraud during the October 25th election.
* Chile: Jovino Novoa, described as a “founding member of Chile's largest party and former collaborator of late dictator Augusto Pinochet”, was found guilty as part of a corruption investigation.
* Brazil: President Dilma Rousseff will order a freeze of some $2.65 billion in spending in order to comply while the government tries to tackle a budget crisis.
* South America: Will South American neighbors Argentina and Uruguay launch a joint bid to host the soccer World Cup in 2030?
YouTube Source – EFE (Starting on December 1st, Ecuador will halt becoming the only Latin American nation without visa requirements for visitors from Cuba).
Online Sources – Deusche Welle, Reuters, ABC News, SBS, NDTV
Thursday, November 26, 2015
* Brazil: The Australian Senate has called on mining firm BHP Biliton to provide compensation for the Brazilian community devastated by a “toxic” mudslide earlier this month.
* Panama: Work on the already beleaguered Panama Canal expansion was delayed over calls for an independent inspection of leaks in some of the locks.
* U.S.: The number of unaccompanied and undocumented child migrants entering via the U.S.-Mexico border spiked last month though it remains to be seen if it reaches the levels seen in mid-2014.
* Venezuela: Venezuela’s opposition claimed that Democratic Action party member Luis Diaz was “assassinated by gunshot” roughly two-and-a-half weeks before legislative elections.
YouTube Source – Wall Street Journal
Online Sources – Sky News Australia, JOC.com, The Independent, The Guardian, Reuters
Wednesday, November 25, 2015
* Brazil: The Brazilian Supreme Court ordered the arrest of Delcidio do Amaral, the ruling party’s top legislator in the Senate, over his potential role in the Lava Jato bribery scandal.
Update: Investigators also ordered the arrest of Jose Carlos Bumlai, a rancher who reportedly served as a close adviser on agricultural policy during the presidency of Luíz Inácio Lula da Silva.
* Chile: Ex-Chilean soccer federation chief Sergio Jadue refused to comment over rumors that he resigned from his post to become an FBI informant in the corruption probe against FIFA.
* Honduras: At least eight people in Honduras were killed when “heavily-armed” gunmen opened fire against a bus terminal in the northern city of Choloma.
* Venezuela: “Whoever betrays the legacy of Chavez destroys himself,” declared Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro who invoked the name of his predecessor at a rally prior to the December 6th legislative elections.
YouTube Source – teleSUR English (“Impeachment efforts are underway against the president of the the Brazilian Chamber of Deputies, Eduardo Cunha, charged with corruption in the Petrobras scandal.”)
Online Sources including Update – Fox Sports, GlobalPost, The Latin Americanist, NBC News, Channel News Asia, MercoPress
Tuesday, November 24, 2015
* Cuba: Internet access is difficult for the average Cuban resident but social networking has been a vital resource for migrants attempting to make their way through Mexico and Central America.
* Latin America: Peruvian President Ollanta Humala issued decrees with the goal of halting violence against women, while a recent report revealed mixed results for Nicaragua in terms of gender equality.
* Venezuela: U.S. prosecutors accused the Venezuelan military of being involved in a shipment of cocaine seized in Haiti this month and leading to the arrest of the nephews of first lady Cilia Flores.
* Dominican Republic: Dominican officials issued arrest warrants against three French nationals accused of helping two of their compatriots escape drug smuggling convictions.
YouTube Source – AFP
Online Sources – Christian Science Monitor, NDTV, Quartz, MercoPress, RFI
Monday, November 23, 2015
* Argentina: At a press conference this morning, Argentine President-elect Mauricio Macri pledged that his government would overhaul the economic policies of outgoing President Cristina Fernandez.
* Update: More from Macri who said that he would push for Venezuela to get suspended from the Mercosur trade bloc.
* Guatemala: Legislators in Guatemala approved an "anti-coyote" law aimed at punishing smugglers who exploit migrants attempting to journey to the U.S.
* Colombia: Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos issued a pardon for thirty FARC rebels who were reportedly imprisoned for non-violent crimes.
* U.S.: Undefeated Gennady Golovkin will likely be the next opponent for Mexican boxer Saul “Canelo” Alvarez after he beat Miguel Cotto of Puerto Rico in an exciting bout on Saturday.
YouTube Source – AFP (“Argentina’s conservative new president Mauricio Macri may come from a privileged background but he has managed to rally voices from different parts of the political spectrum to advocate for change.”)
Online Sources including Update – SI.com, Voice of America, Reuters, The Guardian
Friday, November 20, 2015
* Colombia: On the third anniversary of the start of peace talks, the Colombian government and the FARC rebels claimed that they are very close to signing off on a final agreement.
* Caribbean: Amnesty International accused the Dominican Republic of human rights violations by stripping the citizenship of tens of thousands of “stateless” residents with a Haitian background.
* Mexico: According to a Pew Research Center report, 149,000 more Mexicans departed from the U.S. between 2009 and 2014 than those entering the country.
* Venezuela: Venezuela's President Nicolás Maduro said that he would review the already fractured relations with the U.S. over allegations of surveillance against PDVSA employees.
YouTube Source – teleSUR English
Online Sources – Business Standard, The Guardian, Pew Hispanic Center, UPI
Thursday, November 19, 2015
While World Cup qualifiers took place this past week throughout the continent, the real action may have taken place off the field regarding the corruption investigation known in some news reports a “FIFA-gate.”
According to the Chilean press, the former chief of Chile’s soccer federation (ANFP) plead guilty today in a U.S. federal court as part of a plea deal. Sergio Jadue admitted to playing a role in a bribery scheme where an estimated $150 million was paid for the allocation of television rights to regional tournaments and buying votes for the sites of competitions like the 2010 World Cup. He also agreed to act as an informant for the FBI in exchange for a reduced prison sentence.
Jadue on November 13th took a 30-day leave of absence after returning from a trip in Brazil where he was beloved to have met with U.S. authorities. At the time he claimed that his trip was for private reasons unrelated to soccer though the Chilean police issued a subpoena against him related to the allocation of salaries in the ANFP. Jadue flew on Tuesday from Santiago to New York where, according to an anonymous ANFP official, he was “traveling as a protected informant of U.S. justice.”
The 36-year-old officially quit from his post yesterday though the ANFP refused to publish the resignation letter. Chile’s Radio Cooperativa revealed the missive earlier today, where he did not explain why he resigned but instead claimed that his job was a “mission accomplished.”
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) last May issued indictments against fourteen soccer officials and marketing executives (most from Latin America) for their alleged role in the corruption scandal. The U.S. has sought the extradition of most of these figures although Jeffrey Webb, the ex-vice president of global soccer governing body FIFA, voluntarily appeared in court this past July.
* Mexico: A new study found that the first year of Mexico’s Southern Border Program has led to a spike in the capture of migrants but also increased violence and “widespread abuse.”
* Honduras: Honduran migration officials affirmed that the six Syrians detained yesterday for carrying stolen Greek passports do not belong to any terrorist or extremist groups.
* Puerto Rico: Legislators will be convened to an emergency session in the first week of December to discuss an $8.2 debt-restructuring proposal for Puerto Rico’s main electric utility.
* Ecuador: President Rafael Correa rejected running for reelection in 2017 but that hasn’t stopped lawmakers from attempting to remove presidential term limits.
YouTube Source – teleSUR English
Online Sources – Reuters, teleSUR English, Bloomberg, CBS News
Wednesday, November 18, 2015
* Haiti: The anticipated runoff in the race for Haiti’s next president could be in danger after electoral officials refused to appoint an independent board to verify the first round of elections held last month.
* Central America: Costa Rica proposed a “humanitarian corridor” for Cuban migrants in their journey to the U.S. though it’s unknown if such a proposal will calm a diplomatic row with Nicaragua.
* El Salvador: Despite an uptick in gang violence Salvadoran police concluded that roughly two out of every three murders were unconnected to groups like MS-13 and Barrio 18.
* Mexico: TransCanada, the firm whose planned expansion of the Keystone pipeline network was rejected in the U.S., is looking at Mexico for increased investment opportunities.
YouTube Source – euronews
Online Sources – Miami Herald, CBS News, InSight Crime, Bloomberg
Tuesday, November 17, 2015
* Venezuela: Recent polls show that the opposition would more than likely retake the Venezuelan legislature following Congressional elections on December 6th.
* Latin America: Several hundred protesters in Rio de Janeiro marched last week against a proposal to restrict abortions in Brazil, while a conservative backlash is sounding off against a plan to legalize first trimester abortions in Colombia.
* Argentina: A $15 billion agreement was reached on Sunday that would allow China to build two nuclear power plants in Argentina.
* U.S.: The number of students from Latin American and the Caribbean enrolled in U.S. universities jumped by 19% last year to 86,378 according to a new survey.
YouTube Source – euronews (Video uploaded on July 2015).
Online Sources – Folha.com, U.S. News & World Report, Christian Science Monitor, MercoPress, Vice News
Monday, November 16, 2015
* Argentina: Mauricio Macri and Daniel Scioli sparred in a head-to-head televised debate held one week before the November 22nd presidential runoff.
* Latin America: At least five Mexican and Chilean nationals were among the 129 fatalities from last Friday’s attacks in Paris, while security was reinforced at the Panama Canal following the incidents in France.
* Brazil: Chamber of Deputies President Eduardo Cunha could be the next head to roll as part of the investigations into corruption among Brazil’s political elite.
* Mexico: Mexican officials extradited suspected Sinaloa drug gang trafficker Gastelum Serrano to the U.S. though the cartel’s chief, Joaquin "El Chapo" Guzman, continues to be on the lam.
YouTube Source – AFP
Online Sources – Reuters, The Inquisitr, Fox News Latino, Deutsche Welle
Friday, November 13, 2015
* South America: Ecuador continues to be the surprise team of World Cup qualifiers for the South American region while stormy weather postponed the match between historic rivals Argentina and Brazil.
* Peru: Peruvian authorities announced the creation of a new 5500-square mile national park in the rainforest though it may be in danger over plans to construct a nearby freeway.
* Puerto Rico: The Puerto Rico Electric Power Authority, with debts of up to $8.2 billion, reached an agreement to extend its deadline to repay bondholders.
* Brazil: Brazilian immigration officials will grant permanent residency to nearly 44,000 undocumented Haitian migrants who have entered the country since a 2010 earthquake.
YouTube Source – TV Pública Argentina
Online Sources – Goal.com, ESPN FC, teleSUR English, Bloomberg, GlobalPost
Thursday, November 12, 2015
* Chile: Groundbreaking commenced yesterday in the construction of the supersized Giant Magellan Telescope in Chile’s northern Andean region.
* Venezuela: President Nicolas Maduro blamed “imperialist ambushes” for the arrest of two nephews of first lady Cilia Flores for allegedly attempting to smuggle drugs into the U.S.
* Puerto Rico: The homicide rate in Puerto Rico has fallen by 15% compared to last year and 40% in relation to 2012 according to Gov. Alejandro Garcia Padilla.
* Mexico: A new exhibition at a Mexico City museum attempts to link the 1968 Tlatelolco massacre with the disappearance of 43 Ayotzinapa students missing for nearly fourteen months.
YouTube Source – Marca Chile
Online Sources – Reuters, Latin American Herlad Tribune, Endgadget, The Guardian
Wednesday, November 11, 2015
* South America: Polls this week have given Argentine opposition candidate Mauricio Macri a minimum six-point lead ahead of the November 22nd runoff, while Organization of American States chief Luis Almagro blasted Venezuelan officials for failing to guarantee the December 6th legislative elections.
* El Salvador: A media probe found that authorities have not looked into the murders of fourteen people by death squads despite El Salvador’s high homicide rates.
* Honduras: Indigenous people living on the Caribbean coast of Honduras claimed that their land is being illegally seized by squatters and narcotraffickers.
* Latin America: Leaders at the Summit of South American-Arab Countries called for a political settlement in Syria and condemned Iranian interference in the Middle East.
YouTube Source – Financial Times
Online Sources – Reuters, Gulf News, NBC News, InSight Crime, teleSUR English